Privilege


Photo via Visualhunt
For people who have known me since childhood, this isn’t an unsurprising revelation. It was when I first told them. My friends would always ask me why and it was difficult to explain. It wasn’t a religious thing. It wasn’t that I hated Halloween — I will always love Halloween. It was more a habit born out of a lack of safety in the neighborhood I had once lived in. Before I was 8 years old, I lived in a rather unsafe neighborhood. Gang fights on my corner were not unusual. If I was out after dark in our neighborhood, both of my parents were with me. My dad wasn’t typically home early enough to go trick-or-treating, and my mom did not feel comfortable taking me out without him. So we gave out candy to the few kids who decided to brave it. Usually, we were done by about 7 because it just wasn’t a big deal in that neighborhood. Right after my 8th birthday, my parents and I moved into the house with my grandfather. He lived in a safer neighborhood, so it would have been fine for me to go — I could have even gone without my mom. But I didn’t. I handed out candy. All of my friends who lived in my neighborhood seemed to come by my house, and I got to see all of their costumes. It was pretty awesome. I never felt like I was missing out on the fun. If we had candy left over at the end of the night, I could pilfer it. (We typically didn’t.) The only time I really went out trick-or-treating, I went as a chaperone for my foster sister. I was fifteen and she was twelve. We only walked down our street, but it was fun. I still didn’t get candy — since I wasn’t really going out for that. I did get some money from one of the neighbors. Instead of candy, he was giving out coins for people who could correctly answer math problems. I had always been in advanced math classes and was in Algebra II that fall, so racking up money was pretty easy. Regardless of where we lived, I dressed up every year until middle school and once as an adult at a church dance. One year I was a purple bunny. Another I was a ballerina. I dressed up in an antebellum-style dress the year that I discovered the movie Gone with the Wind. I even dressed up as a clown one year. My favorite costume was when I dressed up as Maleficent, my favorite character from Sleeping Beauty — actually, she’s my favorite from any Disney movie. My mom made my costumes and didn’t seem to mind that I always wanted to dress up in fun styles, even if I didn’t go out asking for candy. I’ve attended events that were Halloween-themed, as a child and as an adult. I’ve been to haunted houses and mazes, which weren’t all that thrilling. (I don’t get scared when watching thrillers and horror films, so that makes sense.) I’ve gone to autumn festivals at school. When I was 8, I had a Halloween party and three or four friends came over. It was actually the day after Halloween, which made getting food and stuff a lot easier. (Yay, post-holiday candy sales!) We had a cookie cake and used toilet paper to turn each other into mummies — you know, without the wire hanger up the nose and the organ preservation. (Yeah, I went there.) Being the day after also meant that we didn’t dress up for the party, which was probably a good thing since it was a rainy day and everyone had walked over. When I was 24, I went to a Halloween Young Single Adults (YSA) dance with other 18–30 year-old members of the LDS church in my region. I dressed up as a hippie that night and won the costume contest. I also lost one of my favorite earrings in the world on the side of I-65 that night, so there were good times and bad ones. I didn’t enjoy the good as much as I should have because I had already had a bad month — one week earlier, my friend’s car caught fire when I was in it, then I sprained my ankle later that night — so losing my earrings just added, for lack of a better phrase, fuel to that fire. RIP beloved earrings. Anyway, I digress. I know that for people who aren’t from the United States that missing out on something like trick-or-treating might seem like it isn’t that big of a deal, but it sort of is. It’s a part of our culture, especially if you’ve been privileged enough to grow up in a place where it is safe to go out. So not having that experience did sometimes make me feel like an outsider, but I didn’t really feel safe enough to have that experience — even when it actually was safe. It’s weird that I do sort of regret not having the experience. But I’m also okay with not having it. I guess that’s one of those complicated things about being an adult — coming to terms with the stuff that you experienced or didn’t experience when you were younger. But I hope that if I have kids some day that I get to take them out trick-or-treating or, at least, let them dress up like their favorite characters because I think that getting that night of fun and make-believe is really important. Happy Halloween.

I Never Went Trick-Or-Treating As a Kid   Recently updated!


23172596013_7248fd1632_o
Sorry that I fell behind by a few days. I had some stuff come up in my family that took precedence. I have decided that splitting each list up into 21 items is a bit too anal of me. I’ll get as many done in a day as I can. That may mean huge lists some days and really small ones on other days. I have a feeling that if you’re looking for reasons to oppose Donald Trump, no list can be too big or too small.1 I’m also going to begin posting each reason on my Twitter account under #2016Reasons. I’ve already been posting each of these posts to that hashtag. 106. Trump said that you never see thin people drinking Diet Coke. Despite the fact that he drinks the soda, Trump enjoys fat-shaming people who drink the soda. I guess that it’s a case of do as I say, not as I do, also known as typical Donald Trump. 107. Donald Trump talks about women like they’re his property. You should know by now that I’m not joking when I say things like this, so yes, he really uses possessive language about women. Specifically, he said, “I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.” And if you’re thinking, “well, at least it’s a compliment,” then I’m going to assume that you’re probably going to vote Republican anyway. People cannot be owned. Now, I know that Trump has a history of trying to get around that by “employing” people who are in forced servitude (slavery) to build things for him, but the statement stands. 108. He thinks he can brag about humility. When Lesley Stahl interviewed him for 60 Minutes after he announced that Pence would be his running mate, he said this about himself: “I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.” And it wasn’t the only time he felt the need to brag about how humble he is. He once even compared his humility to that of the Pope. Donald, Donald, Donald. Do you not understand how humility works? It’s not something that you can brag about. Well, obviously, you can brag about anything, but if you’re bragging about being humble, then you are not humble. Know why? It’s what the word means: Humility: a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness. Bragging about humility is a bit like fat-shaming people for drinking Diet Coke while guzzling a tiny little bottle of Diet Coke on board a private plane. Yeah, I said it. 109. “The point is, you can never be too greedy.” I shouldn’t be surprised that Donald subscribes to the Gordon Gekko philosophy of wealth acquisition. Maybe, like many, he doesn’t understand that Gekko wasn’t the hero of those movies. He was the villain. Perhaps, he was inspired by the Ferengi in the Star Trek universe; failing to recognize that they too were meant to be antagonists. Or maybe it’s due to growing up in a wealthy family; he never learned that life isn’t about being the wealthiest person in the room or becoming the wealthiest person in the room. He values his bank balance more than he values lives. Is that the kind of person that you want running the United States? 110. Political events are about ratings for him. Whether talking about the debates or the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump obsessed over how many people were watching. I hate to break it to him, but a lot of people who watched those things aren’t even voting for him. At a certain point, watching Trump speak became more about either laughing at him or trying to determine just how out there the man is. But even if people were watching to root him on in his fight against the establishment–aka himself–believing that ratings are the most important part of the events proves how out of touch he is with the importance of the job he’s campaigning to have. Debates and conventions are not just job interviews, they’re part of national conversations where we all start determining where exactly this country should stand on a variety of important issues. Since Trump doesn’t even bother to share his plans for working on those issues, it’s clear that he doesn’t even get the most basic part about it. When he only speaks in incoherent soundbites, it’s easy to see how shallow the man and the campaign really are. 111. He’s opposed to marriage equality. Donald likes to paint himself as a pro-LGBTQ candidate, but he believes in “traditional” marriage. (Apparently, traditional marriage means a union of one man, three women, and a lot of divorce attorneys.) Electing Donald Trump could jeopardize the rights that so many people have fought so hard to win and could prevent future wins in other ongoing fights for equality in America. He has vowed to overturn the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. 112. Patronized a woman claiming to be a 9/11 survivor. Trump called Alicia Watkins “sweetie” before giving her a “job interview” and saying he’d hire her because he had a gut feeling about her. Watkins told him that she was a 9/11 survivor and a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Watkins has since been described as having falsified her record and having violated federal laws against Stolen Valor by wearing a purple heart that she didn’t earn. Not only did he patronize her, he proved that his gut kinda sucks. 113. Threatened to “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz. During the end of the Republican primaries, things between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump got a bit heated. In a move that Cruz still won’t forgive Trump for, Trump threatened Heidi on Twitter. He followed it up by retweeting an unflattering picture of Heidi–a move he actually regrets. 114. Called 9/11 “7/11”. During a rally, Donald Trump confused a huge national tragedy with the real life inspiration for the Kwik-E-Mart. For any American, that would be a big flub, but for someone who loves to brag about his patriotism […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #106-131



28358558356_a5ab4c1b13_o
Hello, it’s me. Yes, I’m back on the last day of the Democratic National Convention to give the fifth list of reasons to oppose Donald Trump’s presidency and to oppose him in general. But if this list doesn’t convince you, maybe the previous four (1, 2, 3, 4) will. If that’s not enough, there will be another list of 21 reasons next time, and another the day after that, and the day after that…and so on until there are 2016 reasons to oppose Trump. 85. Trump supported Brexit. Donald Trump viewed Brexit as the British people taking control over their own country and borders, and putting their needs first, or so he suggested. Unfortunately, a man who somehow got a graduate degree from Wharton doesn’t seem to understand much about the economy. Apparently, business degrees don’t require that a person understand economics or global policy. Liam Fox, Trade Secretary for the United Kingdom, explained how woefully inaccurate Trump’s assumption that Brexit is all about focusing on Britain are, “In fact it was the reverse: In my view, it was about Britain becoming a much more outward-looking country.” He also saw Brexit as an opportunity to bilk money out of his supporters. Donald can’t ever miss an opportunity to do a little song and dance for a check from unsuspecting, innocent people. Sad. 86. …But he didn’t know how Scotland had voted in the EU Referendum. How does a man who was raised by a Scottish immigrant not know that one should never confuse the will of the English with the will of the Scottish? Scotland, along with Northern Ireland, voted to remain in the European Union, a decision that could dissolve the United part of the United Kingdom. It would officially change the way that Scotland and England have functioned for over four hundred years. If ever there was proof that total assimilation within a culture was a bad idea, it would be Donald Trump’s inept understanding of how Scotland fits in to the Brexit situation and into the United Kingdom in general. How do people judge this man to be competent enough to vote for? 87. Donald Trump claims that he broke the glass ceiling for women all by himself. I’ll repeat. Donald Trump claims that he broke the glass ceiling for women all by himself. He told Bill O’Reilly, noted White House slavery enthusiast, “Number one, I have great respect for women. I was the one that really broke the glass ceiling on behalf of women, more than anybody in the construction industry.” He also told O’Reilly, “My relationship I think is going to end up being very good with women.” I don’t even know where to begin. Taking credit for breaking the glass ceiling? Even if he’s succeeded in helping women in one industry, it is not his place to say that he broke the glass ceiling. I guess if he was asked who gave women the right to vote, he’d claim he wrote the 19th Amendment and got it ratified on his own. I bet he’d even claim he was up in Seneca Falls. He might as well. He is taking credit for the achievement of women and of the hardwork put into giving full-fledged equal opportunities and rights to people regardless of sex or gender, even though he fails to pay women the same as men on his campaign. He is asserting his privilege to deny women the ability to say that they earned their position and that they fought for it. To quote the great philosopher and ethicist Taylor Swift, “I want to say to all the young women out there, there will be people along the way who will try to undercut your success, or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But if you just focus on the work…you will look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there. That will be the greatest moment.” 88. Trump called pregnancies of employees an inconvenience for business. Yes, he actually said, “a wonderful thing for the woman, it’s a wonderful thing for the husband, it’s certainly an inconvenience for a business. And whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business” on video. So there’s proof that he feels this way. To summarize: the pro-life party is now being represented by a man who once called pregnancy an inconvience for business; and he said this after he began identifying as pro-life. 89. Trump has called Elizabeth Warren ineffective. To Trump, ineffective means that Elizabeth Warren pisses him off and doesn’t put up with his bullshit. He’s said she is the least productive Senator, that she gets nothing done, that she is weak. Elizabeth Warren should channel Mean Girls character Regina George and ask Donald, “Why are you so obsessed with me?” Because, clearly, he is. 90. Donald Trump insulted Warren by saying she has a big mouth. Apparently, Trump thinks that women who stand up to his childish behavior are worthy of scorn and deserve to be silenced for it. He’s even said that he wants to shut her up. Way to go, GOP! You’ve nominated a man wanting to silence women. Classy stuff, if you’re in the 1950’s. 91. Trump accused Hillary of only being popular because of the “woman card” and not for any other reason. In yet another example of Trump being an misogynist, he decided that Hillary was somehow getting more support because she’s a woman. He said, in a news conference at Trump Tower in April, “Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card. And the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.” He claims a former United States Senator and Secretary of State is unqualified. You know, unlike a “businessman” who has never […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #85-105


On Not Seeing ‘The Help’ fatvirginsuicide: passportharlem: The title alone was enough for me to know to stay away. The synopsis confirmed that I had made the right decision: A young southern white woman with dreams of becoming a writer comes home from college and upon hearing the news that her mammy has abruptly left Mississippi for Chicago, realizes that black maids are treated differently from white people and thusly decides to write about them from their perspective. This, folks, is a classic case of cinematic enwhitlement…and exactly how Hollywood–and the rest of America–addresses race: A well-meaning (often southern) and heretofore racially oblivious (shall we say color-blind?) white person randomly discovers that the Negro they love most (and by extension other black people) is treated “differently,” becomes tragically affected by the epiphany, heroically takes up the cause (on a micro or macro level), and gets some Colored Only signs removed. Oh and a whole bunch of funny shit happens in the middle. Like Klansmen becoming comic relief. Yep. That’s exactly how Jim Crow was. i know it’s fucked up but i’m still seeing it. Of course, it is actually based on a book, which was based on the real life of the writer of the book. Admittedly, the book’s writer was born in 1969, which was after (according to educational sources, not necessarily reality) the Civil Rights Movement was over. She was raised by a black maid, but she still wouldn’t have understood the intricacies of the time or of what her surrogate parent went through.  Still, from what I’ve heard from people of various races and backgrounds, the story is a pretty good portrayal of things that went on. Even if it isn’t the most sensitive portrayal of the story of 1960’s in the Southeast, it is still a more respectable piece of American film when it comes to portrayals of black folks in this country.  Most movies and films feature people of different races as stock characters.  This film actually tries to break from that kind of mold by giving talented people like Octavia Spencer, Cicely Tyson, and Viola Davis the opportunity to have strong, intelligent characters to portray, which is something that Hollywood is sadly lacking for black women.  Even if the story isn’t completely understanding of what went on during the time period, it will show society that we, as a society, need to provide roles of integrity to women and men of different backgrounds.